So, when I booked my ticket to Houston to see Rebecca, I'd booked it "Business Class"... this worked because i had the frequent flyer miles (because of overuse of my credit card, not because I'm a frequent flyer) and it really wasn't THAT much more than it was for the coach ticket... and I just didn't want to fly coach. So, as I look at my itinerary for my flight back I notice that somehow I've managed to be upgrade to first class for the trip back. WOOHOO! Three times the value for twice the price. ;) Most people that enjoy wasting money would call that a bargain... and it was free, so I'm taking it.
So that being said, I've always wondered what the hubub about first class was. The seats are bigger... BFD. Oh NO NO NO! It fucking ROCKS. Here, (hidden as politely as possible behind a LJCUT tag) is my First Class experience on United...
First of all, you're first. Getting on the plane. Since I'm going to talk about the experience on the Boeing 777 (the 737 from Houston to Chicago wasn't that fab), this is cool because it's forward of where you board the plane. Since it's forward, no one is bumping their bags against your arm (assuming you're in the isle seat) as they pass by into their pathetic coach accommodations. And you don't have all of those people glaring at you with disdain as they head to their half-sized seats in back. Also, where as most 777s have a 3-5-3 configuration in coach, First is a 2-2-2 configuration. That basically translates to MORE than double the space and most seats are isle seats (I got a window, but I prefer a window seat, so that works for me). There is no such thing as a "middle" seat in first class.
Another thing to note is that coach is maybe 2/3 to 3/4 of the plane. Coach has maybe 4-5 people serving it. First class is 1/4 of the plane tops, and it has... you guessed it... 4-5 people servicing it. This basically translates to someone walking past your seat at least once every 5 minutes, only asking you if you need anything if you have a concerned look on your face. That's 4x the service that you would get in coach. Rocks.
Okay... now we begin the experience. You sit down. You're still waiting for all of the cattle in coach to board, and you got on first, so you've got maybe a 30 minute wait. But it doesn't FEEL like that long... not when you've already got your drink in your hand. Yup... you're on the ground, and you're already liquoring it up. Let the party begin (I'm typing this on the plane, so at this point I've had 1 bloody mary, 4 glasses of wine, and a Bailey's, so I'm feelin pretty good). They do have to take your drink back before you takeoff, but don't worry about that... they're more than happy to give you more once you're in flight.
Then the flight begins, and the drinks start flowing. Anything you want that they have is yours... and in unlimited quantity (assuming you don't make an ass of yourself). Then the towel service comes around... a STEAMING hot towel to clean your hands and "freshen up" with (no, not there... this isn't a vagisil commercial). Some people put it on their face, some just their hands, but whatever works for you, go with it. By the way... would you like anything else to drink? Yes sir.
After a while one of the attendants walks by asking "Mr. Mullendore, what would you like for dinner tonight? I have a beef tenderloin and a pecan-crusted chicken entree..." "Filet, please..." "Thank you, Mr. Mullendore" (did I mention she actually pronounced my name right?) (insert more wine service here)... after a short while more (you're half way into the movie of your choice) someone comes around handing out linens. Mind you, I have no idea what this is for... I'm thinking it's the napkin that I put in my lap. Nope... it's the TABLECLOTH. Fucking tablecloths! Can you believe it?! Oh... more wine.
Dinner comes around... on your own private tray, arranged as though it came from a 3 star restaurant (for 40,000 feet in the air, that's impressive) on CHINA. Nice, thin, china. Reasonably good stuff. Wow. Filet with sauce, sauteed zucchini/onions/mushrooms and a twice-baked potato with a salad (with real parmigiano reggiano... and yes, I'd know) and your choice ranch or caesar dressing. And wine. And then the bread service comes floating around... warmed bread in a basket with butter. It's the fact that it comes in the basket that's cool... gives it that "extra" touch. The attendant has tongs to place it on your tray... but I didn't know that and reached right in with my fingers. I'm white trash... so what. I didn't touch anybody else's :P Of course, the wine keeps flowing, though at this point I've asked for some water too.
Okay... dinner's done, and it was yummy. Back to my book. Oh... coffee? Yes, I'd like some coffee... thank you. mmmm... coffee...
Now the unexpected part... DESSERT! "Sir, would you like a hot-fudge sunday? Would you like an afterdinner drink? Courvoisier? Kahlua? Baileys? Would you like that on the rocks, or straight-up? Here you are sir, thank you." FUCKING A! There's a dessert course?! Now, most that know me know that as far as dinner goes, it's never complete without dessert... but this I really wasn't expecting. This is nice. Did I mention that it had fresh whipped cream, nuts, and the cherry on top? ...or that it as both vanilla and chocolate ice cream? Did I mention that it was Haagen-Dazs? Excuse me while I clean up after my Joygasm(tm). "May I have a refill on my baileys, please? Straight-up, thank you." :)
At this point, touchdown is only an hour away, but it doesn't feel like much. Just sitting there reading my book while I sip my baileys. That was good. Damn good. I'm going to have to spend a lot more money in order to work up the points on my United Visa card ;)